Saturday, March 29, 2008


Today I was rooting around Phil Johnson’s Bookmarks, a great resource for theological writings and came across this gem at

Dr. Barrick cites 3 John:9: "I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us" (NKJV).

Then he makes the following observations--

The Greek philoproteuo refers to love of being leader, dominant, preeminent, or first. Such an individual is self-absorbed, egocentric, and controlling--he loves to micromanage others. It is good to stop and examine oneself in this regard. Am I a Diotrephes? How do I come across to others? Do those with whom I serve in the church or with whom I work in my place of employment think of me as controlling? Through a grueling session of self-examination I asked the following questions about myself, in order to find out whether I sometimes behave like Diotrephes:

  • Do I dominate conversations? Do I make certain that at least my viewpoint is heard on every matter, even if others are not? Speaking out in every occasion could be a clue that I think pretty highly of my opinion and desire that others hear it--even if it means that others might not be given the opportunity to be heard. Do I especially bring attention to myself when a significant visitor has joined a meeting by asking questions of him/her and inserting myself into the conversation? If I do so, then I am a Diotrephes.
  • Do I dominate discussions at Bible studies? Do I help to promote myself as "the answer man" by making certain that I speak in every forum on every issue? If so, I am a Diotrephes.
  • Do I take over communicating with everyone else about an event? Do I take actions as though I am in charge of an event following a mere general announcement, just because I feel like someone needs to take charge, settle arrangements, and organize it "properly"? Such action might reveal that I think that no one else can do it the way I do and that no one else can really do it right. If so, I am a Diotrephes.

Here’s the link where you can read the whole thing: Am I a Diotrephes? Warning: conviction may follow. (Well it did for me. Maybe you’re not a Diotrephes.)

1 comment:

Boyd said...

Michael, I join you in the comment, "Ouch!". And thanks for recommending Dr. Barrick's site.

So much little time....